September 19, 2006 at 18:16 #3023LingfieldMember
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Top HH jockey Mick Fitzgerald has announced his intention to retire at end of season and run an upmarket racing club.<br>Rider of 1000 winners and Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â most of the big races.<br>Who will get the Henderson stable jockey job?
(Edited by Lingfield at 7:17 pm on Sep. 19, 2006)September 19, 2006 at 18:24 #77429Lovely LadyMember
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sorry to hear. I’d like to see Andrew Tinkler get it.September 19, 2006 at 20:46 #77430cormack15Keymaster
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Nice guy. Wish him all the best and hope he gets out in one piece.September 20, 2006 at 07:20 #3024MullyMember
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On his day he was up there with the best of them. He has ridden some brave and famous horses and I shall miss seeing him riding. Henderson has described him as one of the best schooling riders around. What he practised on the gallops became reality on the racecourse, he could attack a fence or gentle coax a horse over. <br>Off the course I found Mick to be the perfect gentlemen, always friendly, polite and smiling!<br>I wish him every success in his new career. What will Nicky Henderson do without him?
From the SP….
Leading jump jockey Mick Fitzgerald is to retire at the end of the season.
One of the elite band of riders to win both the Grand National on Rough Quest (1996) and the Cheltenham Gold Cup on See More Business (1999) – Fitzgerald, 36, has decided to bring the curtain down on a glittering career at the top that spans almost 20 years.
A new venture will see him become director of an exclusive racing club.
Fitzgerald has also won most of the other major prizes in National Hunt racing, including the 1999 King George VI Chase at Kempton on See More Business.
And he has a host of victories to his name at the Cheltenham Festival.
Among those are the Queen Mother Champion Chase on Call Equiname (1999), the Stayers’ Hurdle on Bacchanal (2000) and the Arkle Trophy on Tiutchev.
Despite not ever being champion, Fitzgerald is one of the six winning-most jump jockeys of all time with well over 1,000 winners.
Fitzgerald has been stable jockey to Nicky Henderson for over 10 years and their partnership has been one of the most successful in recent times. Only last season they enjoyed a double at Cheltenham with Fondmort in the Ryanair Chase and Non So in the Mildmay of Flete.
They have also been a most formidable combination at Newbury, winning the Tote Gold Trophy three times with Sharpical (1998), Geos (2000) and Landing Light (2001) and teamed up last season to lift the Hennessy Cognac Gold Cup with Trabolgan.
Fitzgerald said: "I’m going to retire at the end of the season. An offer came up to be director of racing for Club ISM and it was too good to turn down.
"You can’t go on forever and I’ve been very lucky. I’ve had a fantastic run.
"For me it has been made even more special that I have ridden for some fantastic people. Be it owners, trainers or whoever.
"Some of the horses I’ve ridden have been fantastic. I owe them everything.
"I’m not finished yet, I’ve got some fantastic horses to look forward to riding for Nicky this year too.<br>September 20, 2006 at 09:52 #77444cormack15Keymaster
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As I said on the other threrad I like him very much as a jockey and he seems a nice person also. Hope he doesn’t suffer any injuries in the meantime. I always prefer it when the jumps jocks retire immediately as it seems to be tempting fate to hang on.September 20, 2006 at 10:19 #77445MullyMember
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Sorry Corm, didn’t see the other thread.September 20, 2006 at 11:03 #77431irisgift1Member
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will be sad to not see his smiley face around the races had some good laughs with him, i think he is an outstanding jockey and will be greatly missed by all.September 20, 2006 at 11:10 #77432GalejadeMember
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I hope that Nicky Henderson will consider Marcus Foley seriously for the post. He has similar credentials to those that Mick Fitzgerald had when he was appointed and has been a loyal servant to the yard over the last few years.September 20, 2006 at 11:34 #77433DroneParticipant
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Quite agree Galejade, Foley is an underestimated jock anyway imo and more than capable of replacing Fitzgerald.
Interesting to see how PJ Brennan gets on with Johnson and Wylie this season.September 20, 2006 at 11:52 #77434Racing DailyParticipant
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Fitz is in the top 5 of my ‘respect’ list. He’ll be missed, but he is entitled to an enjoyable retirement. I wish him all the best.September 20, 2006 at 12:05 #77435bluechariotMember
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I think Timmy Murphy would suit Henderson.September 20, 2006 at 14:01 #77436sberryMember
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agree with the good comments posted about him but my abiding memory of him will be his falling off of four highly fancied runners one saturday and in the process transferring about a grand from my pocket to the little bookies opposite the pub – the only plus about that day was that i didn’t have far to go to drink enough to make the pain go awaySeptember 20, 2006 at 14:58 #77437SalselonMember
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Wasn’t it when he won the grand national on Rough Quest, he said something like "that was the most exciting 8 minutes of my life" to which his then wife replied "what would he know – he never lasted 8 minutes in his life!". Fantastic.
They split shortly after I heard:cool:September 21, 2006 at 08:57 #77438davidjohnsonMember
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Always liked Fitzy, but he hasn’t been the rider he was (for obvious reasons) for the last 3 years or so. Rides like that he gave Marlborough in the William ill Handicap at the Cheltenham festival were an art form. I wish him well.
Wouldn’t like to see Foley get the job. Might make it much harder to know whether the Henderson horses will run to form or not.September 22, 2006 at 00:58 #77439GreenGreenDesertMember
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I wish Fitzy the best. Don’t think he will have any trouble getting on in the media. As well as a great jockey, he is also articulate, intelligent and has a good craic.
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